FAISALABAD: The Ahmadi and Muslim communities of Ghaseetpura signed a written agreement, promising to avoid giving a religious colour to personal and individual disputes and present any issue in future to the local committee.

Agreement was signed by Mian Nazir, Abdul Jabbar, Prof Abdul Hameed, Rana Idrees, Muhammad Sarwar and Muhammad Hanif, representing the Jamat Ahle Sunnat and Shafi, Allah Rakha, Rana Manzoor, Bashrat Ahmed, Arshad and Ghulam Murtaza of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya on Aug 28, following a clash which left 19 people from both sides, including 13 Muslims and six Ahmadis, injured.

On Aug 23, both the sides clashed and resorted to firing against each other from the worship place of Ahmadi and adjacent houses. The Ahmadi worship place (Baitul Zikr) was also ransacked and some of its belongings damaged.

According to the six-point accord, any personal and individual disputes would not be given religious colour. Any dispute or any other issue would be brought to the notice of the local committee. Both the sides would not deliver provocative speeches or make announcements (against each other) in mosques or the worship places. The Ahmadi community would bear the repair expenses of its worship place damaged in the clash and no objection would be raised to the repair work. Both the communities would exercise their religious rights according to the law and constitution of Pakistan. An ex parte decision will be made in case of violation of the agreement.

A committee was formed by City Police Officer Ashfaq Ahmed Khan to keep an eye on the investigation. The police also initiated a preventive action against 15 people (seven Ahmadis and eight Muslims) to avoid further clash in the area.

The Balochni police had registered a case on the complaint of Station House Officer Zahid Hussain against about 200 people under terrorism charges and the Pakistan Penal Code sections of 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon) and 149 (unlawful assembly, guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common objective), 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 324 (attempted murder), 427 (mischief causing damage) and 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house etc).

A police officer said it was a good sign that both the communities had inked the agreement to maintain peace. He said it was easy for the police to conduct the investigation into the issue and put the suspects behind the bar. However, the department had tried to ensure permanent peace in the area as both communities had been living peacefully for years. He said investigation into the issue would be conducted on merit.

“We are still monitoring the unscrupulous elements who can play with the lives and properties of both the communities only for their vested interests,” he added.

He said some of the accused had been arrested and sent to the jail.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2018

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